There are more ways than ever to get your message across, whether you have clients or work within an organisation.
Whilst the savvy freelance VA understands that marketing is important for their business, the forward-thinking PA or EA will also realise the value of messaging.
And some of what may not be so relevant now may become more relevant at some point in the future.
Especially for the professional assistant considering going it alone in the next year or two.
With your marketing and messaging, you can go offline, go online or do a mix of both. (And it’s usually a good idea to do both).
Here are 21 ways to go about it. There are more, this is just to get you thinking about what might work for you.
Love it or loathe it, Facebook remains a popular online community. You may find posting, sharing videos, joining relevant groups or setting up your own group attracts interest.
LinkedIn is a more business-oriented online community. Again, you can post, join groups or set up something yourself. You can also add articles or videos.
This is the snappy, short-form medium. It can be a simple way to engage with many people but may also require a lot of time if responding to ‘everything’. Some love it. Some ignore it.
This is owned by Facebook (or Meta), which can be useful for sharing content across both platforms. It’s best suited to visual content. Ideal if you want to illustrate your graphic design or presentation skills.
If you look at the huge numbers, people across the world love watching videos. If you like being in front of the camera, creating video content around you and the work you do could be a way forward. I have a YouTube channel for my business. Even if you use it to share an interest in a hobby or pastime, it says something about you.
It’s not compulsory to have a website. But if you do have one, it reassures people you are ‘real’ and allows you to showcase all that you have to offer.
7. Email Marketing
From your website or social media marketing, you can start to build an email list. This allows you to connect and build a relationship with people. They get to know you and what you do. You get to know (from their level of engagement, feedback or participation in surveys) a bit more about them. You can nurture your list towards your services and packages.
8. SMS Text Marketing
You might use your website or email marketing to draw out the mobile number of your connections (perhaps in return for giving them a freebie resource). Once you have the number, you could create a simple SMS marketing campaign with a series of targeted texts.
9. PDF ‘lead magnet’
This is a resource you offer people – on your website or a landing page from a social media campaign. In return, they give you their name and email address (maybe a contact phone number and postal address as well). It is part of the list building process.
10. Sales Brochure
This can be a printed brochure or a PDF version. Typically, a brochure tells people about you, your services and packages, your pricing, and a summary of your terms and conditions. It gives reasons why people should choose you and not a competitor.
11. Direct Mail Marketing
Direct mail marketing covers anything you send in the post to people. Letters, postcards, packages and so on. With so much focus on social media, people often forget that this ‘old school’ method of marketing is available. When done well, it can prove very profitable.
12. Sales Letter or Sales Page
A sales page is a web page that you send people to, with your offer on it. A sales letter is an ‘old school’ letter you send via the post. It is a key part of most direct mail marketing efforts and contains a strong offer.
13. Leaflets and Flyers
These may not be best suited to the freelance assistant business but could be a possibility if you’re in a specialist niche or want to target a particular area or community.
14. Online or Physical Directory
There are many business and trade directories around, some in physical form and many on the web. Some are free to join, others may charge a fee to be included. If you think this is where your type of client may well be looking, it may be worth exploring.
15. Newspaper or Magazine Article
There are two ways to go with this. Firstly, you can either write – or be commissioned to write – an article by a newspaper or relevant magazine. Secondly, you might be featured in an interview or other article written by somebody else for the publication. It can be great for your profile, PR and for generating enquiries off the back of it.
You could be selected or nominate yourself to be interviewed on somebody’s podcast. Alternatively, you might wish to set up your own podcast. The more niche or interesting your work, the better. The more confident you are speaking about what you do, the more this broadcast medium may suit you.
17. Radio Interview
The same goes for radio interviews. If you have a ‘great voice’ for radio and can speak with clarity and passion, this is a good path to go down. Any national or international coverage creates opportunities for enquiries or fresh requests for interviews.
18. Business Networking
In this hybrid way of working, networking could be at an in-person event (the traditional way) or online (via Zoom or Teams, for example). For many start-ups, this can be a great way to meet people, build relationships and hone their messaging skills.
19. Write a Book
Do you have a fascinating back story of how you got to where you are today? Do you want to share some of your know-how and how-to expertise? One way to share either of those is by writing a book. It’s a trending form of marketing.
20. Public Speaking
With many events returning to the traditional ‘in-person’ approach, there will be increasing opportunities to speak in public. For some people, it’s what they fear most. For others, it’s a chance to get in front of a good audience and make a strong connection with the right people – potential prospects and clients.
21. Word of Mouth Recommendation
Probably the most powerful form of marketing. If a trusted friend or colleague tells someone that you’re the person to speak to about a project, role or piece of work, you are far more likely to secure the deal. And it will usually be the easiest sales process you’ve experienced.
This is why it’s important to let friends, family and colleagues know what you do and who you’re looking to work with. It’s why you should ask existing and past clients for referrals. It smooths the path to the next sale.
Consistency is the Key
Just to be clear. You don’t need to do ALL 21 of these ways of marketing to get your message across. You might only focus on two or three to start with.
Whether you go online or offline, or a mix, there are two things you should aim to get right. The strength of the message and the consistency of the message.
Doing a little, often, is better than feverish activity for a week or two and then doing nothing. The ‘drip, drip’ effect can be very powerful over time. You never know where the next enquiry will come from.
If you’re already a freelance, see which ideas from the list work best for you. If you’re an assistant who may go freelance in the future, bear these ideas in mind for when the time arises.
Which ones will you use? Comment below.